When all else fails… talk to GOD

Hospitality News Middle East - - CONTENTS - n4tc.com

In life, says Manal Syr­i­ana, se­nior con­sul­tant at N4TC, if you want some­thing done you do it your­self, whereas in the restau­rant busi­ness, if you want some­thing done, you talk to God. In her sce­nario, God is the de­ci­sion-maker, the main voice that the ser­vice and sup­port team lis­ten to when things need do­ing

Growth and con­ti­nu­ity in restau­rants are down to the con­cept’s abil­ity to lis­ten to its clients and im­ple­ment in­no­va­tions and im­prove­ments in a timely man­ner. While the ser­vice team can give in­put on op­er­a­tions, cus­tomer feed­back and sug­ges­tions for im­prove­ment, all good in­ten­tions will fail if the de­ci­sion-mak­ers are not in­vested in those ideas. Such sug­ges­tions are of­ten met with re­sis­tance, since the in­te­gra­tion re­quires com­mit­ment and trust in the end re­sult that is not al­ways tan­gi­ble be­fore­hand.

Suc­cess­ful set-up

Es­tab­lish­ing a suc­cess­ful set-up for com­mu­ni­ca­tion and de­ci­sion-mak­ing is key to achiev­ing re­sults. A suc­cess­ful setup should start with:

1) A clear vi­sion and com­mit­ment from the de­ci­sion-mak­ers and man­agers on the floor about the core val­ues and the planned out­come. Such clar­ity will set the stage for all de­ci­sion-mak­ing.

2) In­te­gra­tion of val­ues in the restau­rant’s day-to-day op­er­a­tions, such as in­work pro­cesses and poli­cies, and com­mu­ni­ca­tion to all team mem­bers, in­clud­ing back-of-house em­ploy­ees and ser­vice em­ploy­ees.

3) The creation of lay­ers of man­age­ment and su­per­vi­sion to fil­ter through in­for­ma­tion from the de­ci­sion-mak­ers to the ser­vice team.

4) Man­ag­ing through com­mit­tees to al­low for re­al­is­tic, timely and in­formed de­ci­sions about the op­er­a­tion.

Suc­cess­ful com­mu­ni­ca­tion

1. Should be given reg­u­larly. Meet­ings and brain­storm­ing ses­sions should be an in­te­gral part of the com­mu­ni­ca­tion strat­egy, such as: a. Daily brief­ings b. Weekly de­part­men­tal meet­ings c. Monthly gath­er­ing

The prac­tice will al­low man­age­ment to be part of the ra­tio­nale for the sug­gested out­come, thereby fa­cil­i­tat­ing de­ci­sion-mak­ing. 2. Do what you say. In­tegrity is a valu­able as­set that en­cour­ages peo­ple to lis­ten, even when the ideas sug­gested are out of the box in which the con­cept is usu­ally nes­tled, or when a sen­si­tive sub­ject is be­ing dis­cussed.

3. Sup­port. Cre­ate a sys­tem that will al­low de­ci­sions to be made in a prag­matic way by es­tab­lish­ing poli­cies and pro­ce­dures at man­age­ment level, from restau­rant man­agers right the way up to the top of the chain.

4. Keep the mes­sage con­sis­tent. Con­sis­tency in com­mu­ni­ca­tion con­veys be­lief in the mes­sage and in the com­pany’s val­ues.

5. Sup­port with data. Com­mu­ni­ca­tion should be backed up with statis­tics and anal­y­sis of: (1) Cus­tomer data - as pro­vided by the ser­vice team (2) Mar­ket/com­pe­ti­tion data – as pro­vided by mar­ket­ing ef­forts (3) Op­er­a­tion-re­lated data – as pro­vided by line man­agers and su­per­vi­sors and, most im­por­tantly (4) Anal­y­sis of fi­nan­cial re­sults

Ul­ti­mately, in­no­va­tion and out-of-the­box think­ing is a cul­ture that should be in­te­grated into the restau­rant’s val­ues and prac­ticed by de­ci­sion-mak­ers be­fore em­ploy­ees.

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